Every month, we will spotlight a Downtown small business that reflects the dynamic energy of the startup community in urban Cleveland.
Crowdentials is a startup business with a very inclusive goal: to help other small businesses succeed.
Downtown Cleveland-based Crowdentials’ marquee creation is an investor verification software, which helps small businesses verify that potential investors are accredited by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
According to Rodman, the idea for Crowdentials stemmed from researching business regulations and realizing the complexity of many of the laws.
“Our mission at Crowdentials is to help entrepreneurs and investors stay in compliance with federal regulations while raising and investing capital,” said Rich Rodman, chief executive office and co-founder of Crowdentials. “We would never want to see an individual get accused of a crime they didn’t even know existed. We figured the best thing to do to stop this from occurring was to create a software that solved the problem before it existed.”
The Crowdentials team got involved with Downtown-based small business accelerator FlashStarts last spring to help grow their business, and calls their experience “amazing,” and “unforgettable,” crediting the program for helping them reach a wider variety of consumers.
“The FlashStarts mentors and interns truly helped us accelerate our business and it to new heights,” Rodman said. “The downtown location allowed us to have access to everything Cleveland has to offer. Our office is right in the heart of Playhouse Square, so every mentor and meeting spot was easily accessible.”
Since their experience with FlashStarts, Crowdentials has secured one round of funding and employs five full-time employees and one part-time employee.
“FlashStarts allowed us to not only turn our dream into a full time job, but still provides us with a platform to launch our company into an even further accelerated stage,” Rodman said.
Currently, Crowdentials is working to secure a new round of funding, and plans to hire a full time web developer in the next six months in order to reach a wider base and build future products. As the business continues to grow, Rodman has no doubt that his team will stay in Downtown Cleveland. According to him, a downtown location is incredibly important to a startup company’s success with its walkable environment and friendly people.
“I could not imagine our company doing as well as it does downtown anywhere else in Cleveland,” Rodman said. “It has a certain feel that you cannot find on the east or west side. Not only do many companies surround you, but the people are very welcoming and are always willing to help you and your company.”